As your business grows and changes, you may find that your capacity planning isn’t adequate. Planning for future storage space and bandwidth use can be tricky, but there are some steps you can take to help ensure that you are neither under-planning nor wasting resources by over-planning.
If your business is growing, it’s likely that you will need more space to store data as well as more bandwidth to run your operation. Calculating how many users there will be and how much data you will need to store should be done on a regular basis. The needs you calculated for last year may not reflect your current usage. You don’t want to pay for too much bandwidth, but not having enough storage for your data or too little bandwidth will make for slower, less productive operations.
Not only should your capacity planning be reviewed regularly, you should reassess the adequacy of your plan when your business makes a significant change. Increasing staff by a large number, adding new software, or offering a new line of products on your website are all excellent times to reassess your needs.
One common mistake businesses make is taking random measurements of network usage and using those to build a plan. How do you know if this is peak usage or not? In order to ensure that your capacity planning will be accurate, you need to measure system usage over every hour over every day of the week. That way, you can get a good picture of how your traffic and usage change by day as well as by time, allowing you to plan better for your needs.
Perhaps the biggest mistake some businesses make is not hiring an experienced consultant to make sure their capacity planning is adequate. Hiring a consultant is smart because this person specializes in planning and can give you a solid assessment and critical assistance without you having to put a specialist on the payroll full-time. They can work through your plans and give you guidance and expertise to make sure your business can keep on growing without hitting traffic and storage snags.
If you’re not putting time and thought into it, your capacity planning may not be adequate for the future needs of your business. By properly reviewing your plan, reassessing, gathering complete data, and getting some outside advice, you can ensure that your business can keep growing without worrying about whether your future needs will be met.